This Day in History – 11 Iyar/May 19

The shaar blatt of the sefer Ohr Yitzchak.
The shaar blatt of the sefer Ohr Yitzchak.

In 5270/1510, 1,500 sefarim and manuscripts were seized in Frankfurt, Germany.

In 5641/1881, anti-Jewish riots broke out in Wasilkow and Konotop, Russia.


5587/1827, Harav Naftali Tzvi Horowitz of Ropshitz, zt”l

5604/1844, Harav Yehudah Tzvi Brandwein of Stretin, zt”l

5592/1832, Harav Yitzchak of Radvill, zt”l

Harav Yitzchak was the son of Harav Yechiel Mechel, the Maggid of Zlotchov. He never settled permanently in any one place, but led communities in Nadvorna, Opotchna, Botoshan, Faltichan and Rimanov, among others, before turning to Radvill in 5576/1816.

Reb Yitzchak relates in his sefer Ohr Yitzchak: “So said my holy father, zt”l: ‘I brought five sons into the world, to parallel the five Chumashim.’ My father said that I paralleled sefer Shemos and added, ‘Your life will always be one of galus, wandering from place to place. But you will have Torah, since the Torah was given in this sefer.’”

Reb Yitzchak was married three times, first to the daughter of Harav Moshe Shoham of Dolina, then to the daughter of the Maggid of Nadvorna, the Tzamach Hashem Latzvi. Later yet, he married the widow of Harav Moshe, the Rosh Yeshivah in Berditchev.

When Reb Yitzchak was still a Maggid in Nadvorna, a duchess came to beg him to save her son, who was deathly ill. Reb Yitzchak promised the duchess that her son would get well and, indeed, the boy recovered.

Years later, the young duke had grown to become a great nobleman with authority over the courts of Zhitomir and Reb Yitzchak had become Rav of Radvill. At that time, someone libeled three great tzaddikim, Reb Yitzchak, Harav Mordechai of Chernobyl and Harav Yisrael of Ruzhin. The three were summoned to court in Zhitomir, but as soon as the nobleman saw Reb Yitzchak, he recognized him as his childhood benefactor. He attested to his saintly character, and all three were freed.

The Radviller wrote the commentary Ohr Yitzchak on Chumash, Pirkei Avos and various other subjects. Biographical details and his ways in avodas Hashem are printed in the sefer Toras Hamaggid MiZlotchov (Yerushalayim, 5759).

He was niftar on 11 Iyar 5595/1835.

Zechuso yagen aleinu.

May 19

In 1780, a mysterious darkness enveloped much of New England and part of Canada in the early afternoon.

In 1943, in his second wartime address to the U.S. Congress, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged his country’s full support in the fight against Japan.

In 1981, five British soldiers were killed by an Irish Republican Army land mine in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.